Chapter 41

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Terra woke up the next morning to the sound and smell of sizzling bacon. She normally savored those sensory inputs, but this morning her stomach churned. She walked into the kitchen to find Will cooking eggs along with the bacon.

Will greeted her with a smile as he turned the bacon. "Good morning lover."

He lifted his eyebrows as Terra put on a pained look on her face and held her stomach. "You don't look so good. You okay?"

"My stomach hurts. Must have eaten too much last night."

"Maybe it was that seductive popsicle?"

Terra just groaned and Will's expression turned to concern. "You really are feeling bad. Do you want anything to eat?"

"Just some toast. And please stop cooking bacon."

By late morning Terra felt better and her hunger returned. She assured Will that she would be fine, so he left to go to tend to some town water treatment issues.

The next morning she felt nauseous again, though not as bad. She brushed off Will's concern.

"My stomach must still be sensitive from whatever hit it yesterday."

After Will left for work, Terra decided to walk over to the clinic, thinking maybe the fresh air would make her feel better. As she passed the school she sat down on a bench and watched the children play. Their joyous shouts and activity caused an unusual swell in her emotions. Tears began to fall down her cheeks. She wiped them away.

What is wrong with me? I shouldn't be crying. And this nausea...

Her eyes grew wide as a possible explanation came to her.

Oh, no. No, no, no!

She grasped her belly and after a deep breath went into the aura. Her mind's eye passed down through her abdomen and she began to search within her womb, tentatively at first, afraid she might find what she suspected.

There it is. So tiny.

Tears began to flow again.

How can I bring new life into this world at this time? It complicates everything.

Old fears came back to her.

My father left my mother when she became pregnant with me. Men do that all the time. Would Will leave me?

I could easily detach it from the womb wall. No one would know. Spontaneous abortions happen all the time at this early stage.

She gently stroked her belly with her hands and cast her eyes down. In the aura she peered closer at the tiny life within her, encircling it with her mind, caressing it.

A daughter! My daughter. Will's daughter.

She pulled out of the aura. She felt a stillness there on the bench while the school children played before her, and shuddered at  thoughts of the life changes before her. Terra closed her eyes and took a deep breath to calm herself.

Do not regret love.

Early that evening Will came in their cottage to find Terra's eyes moist with tears. She leaped up to embrace him. He pulled back with his hands on her shoulders. Concern painted his face.

"Terra, what's wrong?"

I have to tell him.

"Will I know now why I've felt so nauseous lately." She paused as emotion overtook her and the tears began to flow again. "Within me... I'm pregnant... Our daughter. I don't know what to do."

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